Today in Switzerland For Members

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 30 Jun, 2022 Updated Thu 30 Jun 2022 07:41 CEST
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At Aargau restaurant, whatever you don't consume, you pay for. Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash

New agreement for cross-border workers, more sanctions against Russia, and other news from Switzerland on Thursday.

Bern and Paris seek a long-term cross-border agreement

As the agreements concerning taxes and social security contributions of French cross-border employees who are still working from home are set to expire today, Switzerland and France decided to draw up permanent rules for this group of workers, according to the Federal Department of Finance.

In a joint statement, both countries said they are aiming to come up with a “flexible, simple and fair regime for the workers and employers concerned” before the end of October.

The original treaty defining tax and social contribution obligations of cross-border commuters who had to work from their homes in France was signed on May 13th, 2020 and had been renewed several times since then.

This recent article explains what’s at stake for cross-border workers:

Swiss home-working agreement must be extended, demand cross border groups

Switzerland implements sixth package of sanctions against Russia

The measures, decided by the EU on June 3rd, came into force in Switzerland at 6 pm on Wednesday, the Federal Council announced.

They include an embargo on crude oil and certain refined petroleum products from Russia.

“Similar to the measures applicable in the EU, the purchase, import, transit and transport to or within Switzerland are prohibited”, the government said.  

“In addition, the embargo provides for a ban on the provision of services, including insurance or reinsurance, in connection with the transport of oil and certain Russian petroleum products”.  

The provision of services such as accounting, public relations and business consultancy to the Russian government is now also banned, in addition to advertising content produced or broadcast by official Russian media such as Russia Today or Sputnik.

Swiss cities are among priciest globally for foreign residents — again

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Switzerland’s four major cities — Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern — were ranked in the second, third, fourth and fifth place, respectively, in the 2022 Cost of Living City Ranking released by Mercer financial services company on Wednesday.

Only Hong Kong is more expensive.

"Mercer calculates the cost of living and housing for expatriates based on its own price surveys that correspond to their spending habits, which may be different from those of the local population. And the firm does not include education and health costs, generally borne by the employers of expatriate families", the company said.

These findings are consistent with another survey , published on June 14th, which also ranked Zurich and Geneva among the costliest for international residents

Paradoxically, both cities also placed among the Top 10 “most liveable cities” in an index rating living conditions in 172 cities.

READ MORE: Why are Geneva and Zurich high among world’s ‘most liveable’ cities?

Aargau restaurant ‘fines’ clients who don’t finish their food.  

“Casanova” Indian restaurant in the town of Baden charges a fine of five francs — in addition to the bill — to customers who leave food on their plate.

The owner, Salman Ghauri, grew up in India where a large part of the population doesn’t have enough to eat, “so we don't throw food away.”

In his restaurant, he serves an all-you-can-eat buffet for 20 francs, but some people pile up more food onto their plates than they can consume, and uneaten food ends up in trash.

This is why Ghauri decided charge a ‘penalty’ of anyone who doesn’t finish the food — a concept he says most of his customers support.

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